Mumbai: Pictures of Manish Bhanushali and KP Gosavi arriving and leaving the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) office on the day the agency carried out raids on a rave party in a cruise ship had been doing the rounds since Aryan Khan and others were arrested in the drugs case.
NCB’s operation led to raised eyebrows after Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik brought up the issue of Bhanushali and Gosavi’s presence. Bhanushali is a BJP leader, while Gosavi — took a selfie with Aryan — had fraud cases against him.
On Saturday, the NCB issued a statement clarifying the ‘association’ of the controversial duo in the Aryan case, claiming that it did not violate any norm as Bhanushali and Gosavi were witnesses.
According to NCB deputy director general Gyaneshwar Singh, Bhanushali and Gosavi were among nine independent witnessed in the case, none of whom was known to NCB prior to the raid.
“As per due procedure established by the law of land, independent public witnesses are mandatorily required to be present during seizure operations. NCB strongly adheres to this procedure and involves at least 2 independent witnesses in all the operations. As the operations are conducted on a real-time basis, field verification of independent witnesses is not possible as the main focus is on the operation and drug recovery. A total of 9 independent witnesses were involved in the whole operation. Manish Bhanushali and KP Gosavi were among them,” Singh said in his statement.
NCB had earlier claimed that Bhanushali and Gosavi had no link with the agency.
While Gosavi’s selfie with Aryan went viral, Bhanushali was seen with Arbaaz Merchant who was also arrested and has been accused of possession of drugs.